Expressing frustration over a budget logjam that has put the state on the verge of a partial government shutdown, Gov. Tim Pawlenty late Sunday proposed flying to Camp Ripley this morning with all legislative leaders in tow and locking the door to an isolated cabin until an agreement is reached.
Pawlenty made the unprecedented proposal after receiving an offer from Senate DFLers that he described as "not particularly helpful."
Pawlenty ordered the state plane fueled and sent letters to four legislative caucus leaders, instructing them to have their bags and toothbrushes packed.
"What we're doing now isn't working," Pawlenty said.
He described Camp Ripley, an Army base between Brainerd and Little Falls, "as a nice controlled setting," where only the five leaders will be ensconced, without lobbyists, staffers or the media. Intruders would be escorted off the grounds, Pawlenty said.
Senate DFL leaders reacted without enthusiasm to the proposal, saying the public would not appreciate the cloistered "College of Cardinals" approach to conducting negotiations.
I don't know. I think the public is going to love the idea of the governor keeping the "leadership" in a building surrounded by armed guards and patrolled by attack helicopters until they actually get their job done.
And who's going to love it the most? The non-monkey himself. Imagine how Nick "Mr. Sensitive" "Buttbuddy" Coleman - the guy who has brought the glorious tradition of the gay bashing joke back to life - is going to react to this?